Why are you still here listening to me?

In my dream I had a radio talk show. 

Maybe all radio shows are called podcasts at this point but my dream was firmly situated in an all-white room with lots of people wearing headsets outside my big glass windows.

I was arguing with a couple of people – my producer? sound engineer? marketing executive? – because I know nothing about radio shows this was unclear. 

The argument was crystal clear. I was saying in a patient, exasperated voice “Pedagogy??? Pedagogy? You want to add pedagogy to the title? And you think that will make people want to listen?”

Then I got a signal to go back on air (from the Roz character from the show Frasier) so I turned back to my microphone for my sign off

“Why are you still here listening to me? Go teach! Discover something! Create! I’ll see you next week.”

It’s disturbingly rare for me to remember my dreams so I know I’m really processing something if my subconscious feels the need to send me a DM. 

I have been struggling – maybe ruminating is a more honest word – about what I’m doing useful in the world.

Covid was an ordeal and a tragedy for many people. In my circle of love we were lucky. No deaths, no serious illness, no devastating hardships. My coaching and consulting ramped up to record levels as people pivoted to doing everything online. I feel like I lived in front of my Zoom camera from March 2020 until September of 2021.

That weird, overworked isolation prompted me to take a new, onsite job and so I threw myself into making impactful DEI change at a college. I stayed small and quiet and focused on my day job and my individual coaching clients.

During the “racial reckoning” that started during the pandemic after George Floyd’s killing, the nonstop vitriol, lies, and exaggerations we witnessed across all platforms and IRL, made me no longer want to be part of any online conversations. So I wrote but didn’t post, and then I stopped writing and sending my periodic newsletter.

I wrote less and less, until it was none. I even stopped staying in touch with folks on LinkedIn.

The grain of sand that was causing my, let’s say “unhealthy” rumination for the last year or so was the uniquely self-defeating idea – “Who needs one more opinion? What do I have to say that a million others aren’t already saying (more concisely, elegantly, truthfully) than I can?”

In other words, what right do I have to think anyone wants to read what I write.  

Enter the dream radio show! 

I *think* I’ve finally learned that writing & talking about issues important to me is part of who I am. And that no one grants me the “right” to have a voice except me.

Turns out I need the creative outlets of writing, creating educational workshops, and leading thoughtful conversations to feel like myself. My perspective is valuable after all and my voice is what someone, somewhere needs to hear.

So. Here we are. 

I’m sending out a newsletter for the first time in a long, long time. And I’m actually publishing this blog post instead of leaving it to languish in drafts folder with the rest of the abandoned writing. And I think I will take my own advice.

“Why are you still here listening to me? Go teach! Discover something! Create! I’ll see you next week.”

PS – If I ever did have the opportunity for this fantasy radio show this would be my theme music.

microphone and sign saying "on air"